Gut-brain-axis: Targets for improvement of cognition in the elderly

    Project: EU research project

    Project Details


    In Europe, the population is aging. The age-associated decline in cognitive functions represents a serious social and medicalproblem. Recent studies show that changes in lifestyle such as physical activity and nutritional interventions – even late inlife –are beneficial for cognition. The microbiome in the gut is a central effector in the maintenance of brain plasticity andtherefore represents a promising target as well as sensor for interventions that aim to improve cognitive ability in the elderly.Detailed and concise scientific investigations of gut-brain interactions, in particular in the elderly, are limited. Such studiesrequire a multidisciplinary approach and a combination of experts from various fields. The aim of our network is to train anew generation of young scientists within a multidisciplinary consortium. The ESRs will engage in individual and welldefined, jointly supervised research projects, securing excellent career perspectives and employability. By enabling ESRs todesign and conduct studies in this economically and socially important field, SmartAge will elucidate the role of themicrobiome-gut-brain axis in aging and its impact on cognition. SmartAge will apply a translational approach combininganimal and human studies, nutritional and life style interventions, cognitive tests, brain imaging, cutting edge OMICS andsystems biology as well as fecal transfer as proof of principle to identify key regulators of gut-brain communication with theaim to develop microbiome-based therapies. An expert team of scientists from both academia and industry such as clinicians, psychologists, nutritionists, biotechnologists and bioinformaticians will closely collaborate to strengthenmicrobiome research in aging which will have a direct impact on cognitive health in Europe. Specialists for publiccommunication outreach will ensure effective and efficient transfer of outcomes to policy makers and into the everyday life ofthe European population.
    Effective start/end date1/09/2031/08/24


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